Gonzaga ranked No. 1 in preseason AP poll for second consecutive season

<p><p>Gonzaga will begin the college basketball season precisely where it wants to end the season in April.</p></p><p><p>The Zags were voted No. 1 in the preseason Associated Press poll released Monday. Gonzaga received 55 of 63 first-place votes from the media panel. No. 2 UCLA, which faces Gonzaga on Nov. 23 in Las Vegas, picked up the other eight votes.</p></p><p><p>Gonzaga was No. 1 in the preseason AP poll last season for the first time in school history. The Zags had 28 first-place votes with Baylor right behind at 24. Gonzaga won 31 straight games but came up short of its first national championship after falling to the Bears 86-70 in the title game.</p></p><p><p>“It is quite an honor to be selected preseason No. 1 for the second consecutive year,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said in a school release. “Our returning players realize the challenge of playing up to that level all year and look forward to it.”</p></p><p><p>The Zags also will face No. 5 Texas (Nov. 13 at the McCarthey Athletic Center), No. 9 Duke (Nov. 26 in Las Vegas) and No. 14 Alabama (Dec. 4 in Seattle).</p></p><p><p>Texas Tech, which faces GU on Dec. 18 in Phoenix, had 17 points, eighth among teams receiving votes. BYU, picked second behind Gonzaga in the WCC preseason coaches poll, received three points.</p></p><p><p><em>This article will be updated.</em></p></p>